“This is the perfect city house,” says Rebekah Zaveloff of the 19th-century rowhouse in Lincoln Park that she designed for her clients, Kevin and Teresa Ferguson. Although the 30-something couple originally hired Zaveloff, of the interior design firm KitchenLab, to expand the cramped kitchen, the project quickly snowballed to include the renovation of the basement and three bathrooms and the interior design of the main living areas. “We wanted things that looked like we inherited them from our grandmother or bought them at a flea market,” Teresa says. “Rebekah realized that our personalities were a little different right away, and we got a really good vibe from her.”

Dining room
In the dining room, an array of artwork creates an eclectic backdrop. The chandelier is by Currey & Company.

To enlarge the kitchen, Zaveloff relocated a small powder room and back stairway that took up a lot of square footage. A sliding glass door with a special hatch for the couple’s bulldog, Jimmy, ensures that the newly opened area feels bright and airy. Inspired by favorite local haunts such as Maude’s Liquor Bar and Au Cheval, Zaveloff incorporated custom walnut cabinetry, quartzite countertops, and a navy ceramic backsplash with a black BlueStar range. “We mixed restaurant-industrial with men’s club glamour to create a sexy, lounge-like feel,” Zaveloff says. “They weren’t afraid of dark and moody colors, which was refreshing.”

Light quartzite countertops and a marble floor inlaid with wood balance the dark hues of the custom walnut cabinetry and navy subway tile from Waterworks. Zaveloff replaced the top of a Williams-Sonoma table with butcher block and paired it with a settee covered in French ticking and Industry West chairs. The space’s big star is a BlueStar—the brass-and-steel range, with custom hood.

A light marble floor inlaid with oak balances the kitchen’s dark tones and eases the transition to the adjacent wood-floored dining room, where Zaveloff placed the couple’s oval table against a banquette she had custom-built along one wall. “I’m a big fan of banquette seating, and in this case, it created a nice circulation plan,” Zaveloff says. To allow for more light, the designer replaced an unremarkable corner window with tall French doors and a Juliet balcony. “French doors add elegance to any room,” Zaveloff says. “That full-height glass brings in light and makes the room feel larger.”

A colorful tribal rug from Jayson Home adds contrast in the foyer. “I don’t necessarily care if everything matches,” Zaveloff says. “Layering adds character.”

Taking cues from the couple’s lipstick-red tufted leather settee and distressed-leather chesterfield sofa, Zaveloff also brought in ethnic rugs, patterned pillows, colorful artwork, and sculptural light fixtures—staging everything in two days. To her surprise, the Fergusons kept every single piece. “They said that they wanted to take risks, and they put their money where their mouth is,” Zaveloff says. “We had a lot of fun.”